St Madeleine Sophie Barat Healing Oil (Patron for School Children)
Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat Healing Oil (Patron for School Children) from A Blessed Call To Love, Ireland.
St Madeleine Sophie Barat healing oil is dedicated to the French 18th century saint. At her birth, a fire raged next door at a neighbour’s house. The stress and terror of the fire caused Sophie’s mother, Madame Madeleine Fouffé Barat, to go into labour. Born two months premature, Madeleine Sophie was considered very fragile. Consequently, she was baptised early the next morning in St. Thibault Church.
Sophie’s older brother Louis decided to become a priest. Lour was ordained a deacon. Due to being too young to be ordained, he was obliged to return home until he was 21. Importantly this allowed him to teach Sophie and she got an education rare among young women at the time.
The French Revolution
During the french revolution Sophie lived a secret life being taught by her brother in Paris and working as a seamstress. . For five years she lived in Paris a life of prayer and study, and taught catechism in secret to the children of the Marais quarter.
The founding of the Society of the Sacred Heart
At the age of 21, Sophie abandoned her dream of becoming a Carmelite Sophie and three other women took their vows as one of the first members of this new religious congregation. Consequently this marked the foundation of the Society of the Sacred Heart. However, because the French authorities had prohibited devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the society was initially known as “Women of Faith”.
The first school was opened in Amiens in northern France in September 1801. Also, Sophie travelled to this important provincial city in order to teach. Sophie made her vows, 7 June, 1802. The new community and school grew quickly. In due course, Sophie became Superior of the Society of the Sacred Heart. She was 23 years old.
In 1840, Sophie averted a potential schism between the Vatican and the archbishop of Paris. While all her sisters pressured her to choose sides, Sophie refused to do so and was able to heal the breach. Over the course of her 65 years as the superior general, Sophie and her Society survived the regime of Napoleon, saw France undergo two more revolutions, and witnessed Italy’s struggle to become a full-fledged nation.
The Sacred Heart schools quickly earned an excellent reputation.,She dreamed of educating all children regardless of their parents’ financial means.
Madeleine Sophie Barat died at the general mother-house in Paris on Ascension Day, May 25, 1865. In 1879, she was declared venerable and was beatified on May 24, 1908. On May 24, 1925, she was canonised by Pope Pius XI.
St Madeleine Sophie Barat healing oil/Tradition of oils
The tradition of anointing with sacred oil is very old indeed. It is used in sacraments and also as a devotional practice. The sick person applies the oil and blesses themselves. As they do so, they are asked to pray to whomever the oil is dedicated to. The Irish blessings oils do not have miraculous power. It is God who has the power to heal. Applying the oil while praying are important ways for us to express our faith in God’s power. Moreover, by doing so we place our trust in God.